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While it wasn’t exactly the most groundbreaking announcement at last month’s Apple event, the debut of three vibrant new colours for the HomePod mini was one exciting thing to come out of it, and now they’re officially here.
Apple just announced the availability of the new colours — Orange, Yellow, and Blue — noting that they’re on sale today and even likely ready for pickup in an Apple Store near you.
Normally, new colours wouldn’t be big news, except that it’s yet another sign of Apple’s recent move toward getting more fun and interesting with its product designs. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago that Apple was the company known for relatively boring and neutral colours like Black, White, Space Grey, and Silver.
Apple Is Getting More Colourful
For years, the only outliers among Apple’s mainstream products were its (PRODUCT)RED iPhone models. That all started to change when the iPhone XR came along in 2018, and it’s fair to say that was just the beginning of an avalanche of colour from the traditionally staid designers in Cupertino.
Not only did the standard iPhone models continue to embrace a whole slew of fun colours, but in 2019 Apple began the trend of classier “Pro” finishes for its higher-end iPhones, starting with Midnight Green for the iPhone 11 Pro and then evolving to Pacific Blue for the iPhone 12 Pro, and finally this year’s iPhone 13 Pro in Sierra Blue.
It wasn’t just iPhones, either. Last year’s fourth-generation iPad Air became the first Apple tablet in history to gain colours. This was followed this past spring by the 24-inch M1-powered iMac, which brought colour back to the Mac for the first time in nearly 20 years.
The New HomePod mini Colours
So, perhaps it shouldn’t be that big of a surprise that Apple has decided to bring the same treatment to the HomePod mini, especially since the small smart speaker is a more important piece of home decor.
The original HomePod only came in the traditional Space Grey and White colours. It was also released in early 2018, six months before the iPhone XR even came along to reintroduce colour to the iPhone lineup.
Back then, these designs seemed appropriate and typical for Apple. Likely, due to that heritage, nobody really gave much thought to the HomePod mini arriving in the same basic colours last year. As a result, last month’s announcement really did end up catching most of us off-guard, even if it does seem completely reasonable in retrospect.
Obviously, Apple hopes these new colours will help juice sales during the all-important holiday season, and certainly, a HomePod mini seems like an ideal gift for many Apple fans. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that the transformation is purely superficial.
What Else Is New?
The colourful new HomePod minis are identical in every other way to the versions that have been on sale since last year. While they’ve all gained some nice new features alongside iOS 15 — and even a few bonuses with iOS 15.1 — the hardware has not changed in any way beyond the new colours.
In other words, if you already have a HomePod mini in your life, the only reason to pick up one of the new versions is if you really like the colour and you simply want another one for your home.
That said, Apple has done an impressive job with the design, which features some thoughtful colour-matched details. For example, as with Apple’s 24-inch iMac, the woven power cable for each of the new HomePods matches the speaker’s mesh fabric colour. The tinted touch surface and volume icons naturally appropriately blend in as well.
The colourful new HomePod minis in Yellow, Orange, and Blue are available today in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan. They sell for the same $99 price as the standard white and space grey versions. The new colours will be coming to several European countries later this month, including Australia, Austria, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, and the UK.